Long-term outcomes in treatment of retroperitoneal sarcomas: A 15 year single-institution evaluation of prognostic features

J Surg Oncol. 2016 Jul;114(1):56-64. doi: 10.1002/jso.24256. Epub 2016 Apr 13.


Background: Retroperitoneal sarcomas are connective tissue tumors arising in the retroperitoneum. Surgical resection is the mainstay of treatment. Debate has arisen over extent of resection, changes in histological classification/grading, and interest in incorporating radiotherapy. Therefore, we reviewed our institution's experience to evaluate prognostic factors.

Methods: Retrospective chart review of all primary RPS patients at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1994 to 2010. Histologic diagnosis and grading were re-evaluated with current criteria. Prognostic factors for survival, and recurrence were assessed.

Results: One hundred thirty-one primary RPS patients met inclusion criteria. Median survival for patients who undergo en-bloc resection to negative margins (R0/R1) is 81.7 months. Surgical margins and grade were the most important factors for survival along with age, gender, presence of metastases and resection of ≥5 organs. Five-year survival for R0/R1 resection was 60%, similar to compartmental resection. Radiotherapy significantly decreased local recurrence (P = 0.026) on multivariate analysis. Grade in leiomyosarcomas and dedifferentiation in liposarcomas dictated patterns of local versus distal recurrence.

Conclusions: En bloc surgical resection to R0/R1 margins remains the cornerstone of therapy and provides comparable outcomes to compartmental resections. Grade remains important for prognosis, and histology dictates recurrence patterns. Radiotherapy appears promising for local control and warrants further investigation. J. Surg. Oncol. 2016;114:56-64. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: compartmental resection; grade; leiomyosarcoma; liposarcoma; radiation; sarcoma.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Margins of Excision
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / etiology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retroperitoneal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Retroperitoneal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Retroperitoneal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Retroperitoneal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoma / diagnosis
  • Sarcoma / mortality
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Sarcoma / therapy*
  • Survival Analysis


  • Antineoplastic Agents